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Technology

Consortium sets sights on robots that do household chores

OSAKA -- A group of 300 Japanese businesses will work to develop 100 kinds of robots that can assist in daily chores and other tasks by 2020.

     The consortium, the i-RooBO Network Forum, launched Tuesday with plans to create robots with such functionality as the ability to talk to nursing care patients via the Internet. It will also accept outside ideas.

     "We hope to create robots that can serve as an international standard, using our latest communication technology and know-how for standardization," said Keio University professor Hideyuki Tokuda, who has been appointed the group's chairman.

     The Network Robot Forum, comprising leading companies and organizations such as Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Toyota Motor and Toshiba, merged with a robot development network of smaller companies. About 300 businesses will participate in the new project.

     The consortium will take orders for prototypes through a joint website shared by member companies. It will tap crowdfunding, in which it would collect money from individuals through the Internet, to help with fund procurement.

(Nikkei)

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